IHMSA Match Day

This month’s e-postal match was difficult, but it was roughly in line with the difficulty of the sport under real conditions.  I decided to load up forty rounds of .44 Special and shoot field pistol at the IHMSA match this morning with my Smith & Wesson 629 Classic.  Our of forty animals, I made contact with 12 of them.  Mostly chickens and pigs.  Using the factory open sights, it tends to be difficult.

Switching to small bore, this time with a Millet SP-1 red dot scope on my Ruger Mk.III 22/45 Hunter, I managed to score an 18.  Generally if I score anything over 20, I’m pretty happy.  Under 20, and I start to think I need more practice.  The hard thing about shooting outside, is you have ballistics to contend with, so you have to know where to dial your sight settings to in order to be on target.  Chickens and pigs for the most part are on the flat part of a bullet’s trajectory.  On turkeys, you’ll drop about 5 inches.  On rams, you’ll drop about 10 inches  At least for most hunks of lead heading out at about 1000 feet per second.

If you ever try IHMSA, here are some things I’ve learned so far.  Keep notes on your sight adjustments, and where you have to aim to make contact with the animal.  This is especially important if you’re shooting field pistol, using a production gun.  Sight adjustments will be coarse, and you might have to aim above or below certain animals, or more to its tail or head.  Have someone spot for you.  If you’re following through properly, on chickens and pigs, you should be able to see where you’re hitting/missing.  But on turkeys and rams, it’s far enough away you might have difficulty seeing with the naked eye, or with 1x or low magnification pistol scopes.  I don’t recommend making a huge investment in equipment.  Start out with cheap stuff.  When you get to the point you can shoot better than your equipment, upgrade.  Most of the time, your equipment can shoot better than you can.  If you shoot silhouette with a semi-auto, pace yourself.  Silhouette isn’t a race.  Between shots, lower the gun with your finger off the trigger, and breathe.  Get comfortable, raise the gun again, and take your next shot.  The temptation with a semi-auto is to treat it like a race.  This is one thing I’ve been trying to overcome.  As much as I would probably to better with a TC pistol, I’m determined to discipline myself with the Ruger, and shoot it to its limits.

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